The ongoing financial difficulties that clubs below the top levels are experiencing thanks to the absence of fans through the gates due to the Coronavirus pandemic was illustrated yesterday when 3. Liga side KFC Uerdingen only got the go ahead to be able to stage today’s league tie against SpVgg Unterhaching after paying some of their rent arrears.
KFC have played their home games at Düsseldorf’s Merkur Spiel Arena for the last two seasons. Prior to that they spent a year based at MSV Duisburg’s stadium. Their peripatetic existence has not helped build a strong supporter base since returning to the ranks of professional football. The club has was only 14th and 17th in average attendance the last two seasons.
Doubtless the financial situation at Uerdingen would not be great even with fans attending matches but without them it is looking particularly bleak. This week it has reached crisis point as the club was unable to pay October’s rent bill of €174,000 which had been due five weeks ago. The stadium landlords contacted the club on Wednesday saying it needed to pay the overdue amount ”as quickly as possible“. They also advised that unless payment was made today’s game would not be allowed to take place. However if part payment were made then the game could potentially go ahead. In the end KFC paid half the outstanding balance yesterday and this was sufficient for the landlords to relent.
However this is clearly just kicking the problem down the road as November‘s rent, plus October’s arrears, will be due shortly. On top of this a further sum of €56,700 is also outstanding. With income streams limited for the foreseeable future, it is hard to know how Uerdingen will be able to right their financial ship.